Atelier Jones Design 9 Tidy Space

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Raimana Jones
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Raimana Jones
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Mathilde Polmard
  • Client

Tidy Space is a 27-square-metre self-contained unit next to an existing accommodation building in the suburb of Ōtāhuhu in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, owned by a small residential property developer who wanted to make better use of the property with new, good-quality accommodation.

The organizational design strategy of the interior came from the Shakers (also known as Quakers). The Shakers believed in the importance of preserving tidiness in their spaces by using furniture as organisational frameworks, which they built with precise intention and purpose. So, each area in the small unit would define the shape, scale, colour composition and the specific functionality of its furniture. The analogy used to describe the furniture in this instance is a form of ‘mini-infrastructure’, built to assist the human condition and one which would save its occupants from spending additional money on decorating.

The overall colour scheme of the interior was influenced by the surrounding context and to create a sense of place and a way to demarcate different areas within the interior. The Tāmaki River nearby has a unique mudflat environment that houses a species of native mangroves (called Mānawa in te reo Māori). So dark and muted green colours are reminiscent of the mud flats and the native mangroves, and a soft pearl blue mimics the serene quality of the tidal sea were incorporated onto the furnishings and cabinetry of the space. Accents of black, deep reds and light orange add nuance and energises the overall colour composition (and acknowledge some of the surrounding native flora and fauna).

Throughout, we used recycled rimu from demolished houses. It adds a warm and tactile quality to the spaces, and is a contribution towards environmental sustainability whilst adding a touch of New Zealand vernacular.

It’s a small project, but full of meaning. By providing built-in furniture, designed and made with honesty and simplicity – as the Shakers did – we can create a sense of pride in their space. We believe this will help make a healthy and sustainable densification of our city.